Mountains and Molehills

Last week I, Allison, went to Lima for my driver’s license. I went with some trepidation. All of our friends had experienced some angst and difficulties getting their driver’s licenses from the nearby town. It is as if they want to find something wrong with your paperwork, or your tests, or as if you could get there with all the required documents and then they would ask for something new. It is very unpredictable. I felt this uphill battle coming. Then, in part thanks to some insomnia and late-night thinking sessions, and just because I am a vulnerable sinner, I started thinking about being in Lima by myself, taking so many taxis, not knowing where to go, walking at night, not knowing how many days I would need to get the license done, you get the picture. Will was sick with a bad cold and the kids always have homework, meetings, stuff they need help with, and I just didn’t want to leave my family, especially if I could come back without having accomplished anything.

Lots of introduction in order to point to the faithfulness of our Father. The family took me as far as Cusco and we had a nice day together and I was feeling much more peace about leaving them. I got on the plane on Sunday morning and switched seats so that two friends could sit together. I ended up sitting by a woman and her daughter that I had been watching in the airport because they seemed Western-Peruvian. The mom is from Lima and the dad is from Cusco. They own a travel agency based out of Cusco. This school year, the mom and daughter had moved to Lima so that the daughter could get a better education because she wants to study medicine one day. The girl is only eleven, but her mom saw that her school would be inadequate starting in secondary school, so they moved her now. She asked me about what I was doing in Lima and she began to speak sweet music to my ears—that the driver’s license place is in a nice part of town, that the medical exam was not thorough, that they would be extra helpful to me since I am a foreigner, that it would not take me above two days to do everything, that she would come and help me if I wanted. She was so friendly and lovely that I felt like, “See, all Peruvians are just wonderful people.” Also, I understood that God was giving me comfort and assurance.

I wish I could say that getting the license was as easy as she described, but truly, just about every Peruvian I worked with, from umpteen taxi drivers, to the funny lady at the driver’s license bureau, to the doctor who gave the medical exams, was super nice. They all were interested in the work at Diospi Suyana and why we would live out in the Andean countryside. I got an earful of political opinions and moaning about how the government has abandoned the Quechua people and much encouragement to keep trying to help.

Every morning I read my Bible in peace, without feeling the need to make breakfast or clean up, and then I knelt by my bed and asked for God’s help. I know it sounds silly, but for me the unknown was challenging and so I was reminded about how when we try to do something hard, something out of our control, we can discover such sweet communion and help from God. I would just walk around Lima talking to Him and thanking Him for His help and blessing. By Wednesday morning I was boarding a plane back to Cusco, having purchased several things for our new house and with driver’s license in hand. Not too shabby!

I didn’t take too many pictures, but here are some goofy ones I do have.


I wanted to write for those of you who have been praying for us this week. Will did pass his medical exam, psychological exam, written test, and driving test. Hooray! That means he’ll have to go back to pick up his license next week (they don’t give you a paper proof) and we’ll be ready to take a trip or two with my dad. Will will have spent four weekdays and nearly 16 hours taxi-ing to and from Abancay by the time he has his license in hand.

Now it is my turn to study! We have heard that a couple should not attempt to get their licenses at the same time because the test givers will think, “Only the husband needs the license!” and fail the woman. The failure rate for women is much higher. Yes, you can joke about that, but it is also because they are reluctant to give us a license here. Apparently the process is a lot quicker in Lima and you can get out of the driving test by having your US license. A couple of weeks ago when a friend suggested I go to Lima to get my license, Will and I laughed– what a lot of trouble!– but now it is sounding better and better.

I am so proud of Will for memorizing all those laws and taking all these tests in Spanish. He really hasn’t been speaking the language for long. I am thankful to God for helping us and for answering our prayers for quick positive results so that we could travel with my dad. I am thankful to you, friends, for praying along with us. I wish we could take you with us somewhere to see the unbelievable scenery!

Addendum: Will drove up to our house (well, almost) this morning for the first time. Our driveway/ road still has a huge trench gouged across it, but the rest of the road is more or less filled in. Loading all the groceries in a backpack and carrying it up the hill from the hospital was good exercise, but I’ll be ok with driving up.

Prayer please this Tuesday! – Drivers License Exam

Will has been studying like crazy this week to get his Peruvian driver’s license.  He traveled to Abancay, about an hour and a half over the mountains, to take his medical and psychological exams and to show proof of his highest level of education this past Tuesday.  Yes, these are all requirements for a driver’s license.  On this upcoming Tuesday he will take the written test and then he’ll have to go back another day for the driving test.  Whew!  We want to be able to go to Cusco in our own car and to explore around the beautiful countryside on our days off without fear of going to the police station or having the car impounded.

You don't have to know just what they mean, but there is a fill in the blank part of the test where you need to say what the name of the sign is like "Curva pronunciada a la derecha"

You don’t have to know just what they mean, but there is a fill in the blank part of the test where you need to say what the name of the sign is like “Curva pronunciada a la derecha”

The written test is hard.  We have heard that they may give you some street signs and you have to write their official name in Spanish, like “Empalme en angulo recto con via lateral derecha” or “Interseccion en angulo agudo con via lateral secundaria derecha”  You have a multiple choice section and the questions are very specific about the punishments for breaking certain laws.  We have heard that in the driving test, you have to park the car within a certain number of centimeters of the parking space lines.  There are rumors that they make the test hard so that you will give a bribe to pass the test.  Many of our friends have taken it more than once.  Fortunately we have not heard these rumors regarding our testing site in Abancay where the people have been nothing but helpful in the process to this point.  Please pray for Will to pass it the first time and for God to help him recall what he has studied.  He has always been a good test taker in English.  Let’s hope it helps him in Spanish too!